Sunday, February 11, 2007

Squash Ravioli

I would have blogged about this much sooner, but I was still too emotional about it to risk it. I didn't want to ruin a perfect thing by talking about it. But I've come to accept that I have nowhere to go but down, and now I can talk about the squash ravioli that were the pinnacle of my culinary existence. Yes, they were good. Oh, and Giovanna did all the work in making them. I just, umm, supervised. Many thanks to Mark Bittman. This serves four and takes forever.

The filling:

  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash
  • 2 eggs
  • nutmeg (a lot)
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cut the squash into inch-thick slices, remove the seeds, and cut off the peel. Put a bit of olive oil on a baking pan and put the slices on this, and put a bit of olive oil on top. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the squash. Bake until soft (30-45 minutes) in a 400 degree oven. Put the slices in a bowl and mash. When the squash has cooled a bit, mix in all the other ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning.

The dough:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour, about
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
Mix the flour and salt in a bowl and crack an egg in. Beat the egg and mix it up, and repeat with the other eggs. The mixture should seem much too dry, but pick it up and knead it a bit. If it's still too dry, add water a tiny bit at a time, but it shouldn't need it. Roll the dough out as thin as you can into a giant strip---this will take a while---and cut it in half. Put the filling onto the first half in little mounds, spaced properly apart. (How far apart? One ravioli-distance, I guess.) Brush or drizzle water in the spaces between the filling; this will make the dough stick. Take the top sheet, put it on top, and press it against the bottom sheet where it comes together (i.e., press between the mounds of filling). Cut out individual ravioli. Do all of this on a lightly floured surface to keep things from sticking, and don't pile ravioli on top of each other. (You could probably get away with it if you dust flour on, but why go to that trouble?) Pour them into a big pot of boiling, salted water and cook till done (six minutes, maybe), giving it a gentle stir every now and then. While you're doing that, make the sauce:
  • olive oil
  • fresh sage, minced
  • garlic (I didn't use this, but I think it would be good)
  • salt
Heat the olive oil on medium-low. Add the sage, garlic, and a little bit of salt. Don't burn the sage.

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